Sustainable Wine By The Glass Program
750,000 Bottles Saved and Counting
Good wine comes from bottles with corks. Period. We all know that. But we’re all wrong. Especially when it comes to serving perfect wine by the glass.
Five years ago, as part of the celebration of our 50th year in business here on San Francisco’s Pier 47, we installed a state of the art wine tap system utilizing wine, that is instead of being ‘bottled’ is kegged’ at source at some of the finest vineyards into 20 liter “kegs” to serve our 13 wines by the glass offerings. The wines once delivered to the restaurant are poured through a state of the art wine tap system that is composed of high grade stainless steel. This system has several advantages over serving from a bottle:
- Footprint. It’s much more environmentally friendly because instead of using 150,000 bottles with labels and corks each year, we’re getting that wine in stainless steel, reusable kegs! To date, we’ve saved approximately three quarters of a million bottles from being produced.
- Temperature: Our wine by the glass is always at the optimum and correct temperature for consumption. As you’ve seen countless times, wine by the glass served at restaurants and bars from bottles either comes from a too-cold refrigerator that’s also being used to store cream and perishables, or at room temperature because it is on the counter. Our system controls each wine at its proper temperature.
- Consistent. Our wine is always perfectly fresh and suffers no deterioration. While wine by the glass from bottles is hit or miss depending on how long the bottle has been opened. Our wine is poured in perfect condition, every time because it is sealed in the keg by inert nitrogen gas which keeps the wine at perfect freshness throughout the life of each keg. When your bartender draws a glass out of the tap, it’s the same, ideal freshness each time.
- Ease of use. Rather than grabbing a bottle that’s open, remove it’s stopper then pouring a glass, or worse, having to uncork a new bottle, our wine by the glass is always only a tap draw away. That means less waiting time at a busy bar for all customers.
- Higher quality: Arguably, wine stored in a larger vessel, equivalent to 26 standard bottles, allows wine to develop more consistently and be showcased in optimum state.
- Variety. Because of the efficiency, we are able to properly maintain and serve a higher variety of wine by the glass than we would otherwise from the bottle. Our offerings range from a very fine local Chardonnay, to really good pinots, all the way to a (eclectic- would remove) low-yield, low-production Cabernet from Alexander Valley. We have wines by the glass for virtually every wine lover.
Of course, we still offer an outstanding bottled wine selection, having recently been awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the 10th year running but as Wine Director Nick McGreevy notes, “while purists may not want wine their wine served from a ‘keg system’ from large vessels (and we have many excellent bottle options for them), the level of quality and consistency of our wines on tap is clear; certainly we try to offer something for all tastes. and a very nice mix for most wine drinkers.”